A Review of Biden’s Picks for Female Vice President Candidates
What Having A Female Vice President Does For Women’s Equality
Joe Biden, the former vice president, has vowed to change the narrative in the presidential election by committing to add a woman to the presidential ticket. This election year proves different from the previous years because of the fresh faces that have been added to Biden’s short list of candidates.
He’s already began the vetting process for his running mate after announcing his vice presidential selection committee earlier this year. He would like to have his selection by August 1.
What would having a female vice presidential candidate mean for women’s equality? A female vice president would bear quite a bit of responsibility when it comes to being a voice for women’s rights. While the women’s rights movement has made strides in the laws passed in 2020 alone, what could we conquer having a female voice representing our concerns in office?
Having a woman as a vice president will provide women a voice in the white house that can speak to our concerns such as reproductive healthcare, domestic violence protection, and sexual abuse survivors.
Many are calling for Biden to not only select a woman for vice president, but an African American woman. In these times, I couldn’t agree more. While we need a woman’s voice in the seat, we also need a woman of color that can help serve as an advocate for social justice issues. Following the death of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, having someone from the Black community, or person of color in general would be fitting.
Biden has stated that he’s been in conversation about his selection with former President Barack Obama. Who he chooses as a running mate will alternate the perception of who he is and his values. A key components that will play a part in his decision will be finding a candidate that has the experience where he lacks. Several names have been rumored, including his former opponent Sen. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar (Amy has since removed herself from Vice President nomination).
Here’s a list of the possible running mates for Biden. Any selection would make history as the first female vice president if elected.
Keisha Lance Bottoms
Keisha Lance Bottoms, has been loyal to the Biden campaign ever since the early stages of the primary election. She’s currently serving as Atlanta’s 60th mayor and only the second Black woman to serve in that role. Keisha’s stance on the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks has set her apart when it comes to emerging a leading figure on Biden’s candidate list.
She has served in every level of government, and did not hesitate to fire the police officer who shot Brooks, an unarmed Black man, outside a Wendy’s in Atlanta, which led to the resignation of Atlanta Chief of Police Erika Shields.
Stacey Abrams was the Georgia gubernatorial candidate in 2018. She’s an author, and the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives. Part of Abrams’ push in the political movement heavily involved being an advocate for the Georgia Entertainment community which brings millions of dollars into the state through its television and film productions. She founded the Fair Fight 220 nonprofit which staffs and funds voter protection teams after losing the gubernatorial race by a small margin.
Initially, Abrams denied interest in being a vice presidential candidate, but after conversations with Biden, she has stated that she would be honored to have the consideration.
Baldwin, a Wisconsin senator, not only would she bring in key votes from a state Democrats need to win, but with her being the first openly gay person elected to senate, she would also be a voice for the LGBTQ community.
Some of Baldwin accolades include her serving as senator since 2012 and is a former member of the Wisconsin’s State Assembly, and has also served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District.
Valerie Demings is a two-term member of Congress, beginning in 2016. Prior to serving on Congress, Demings was the first woman to hold the position of Chief of Police for the Orlando Police department. She helped lead the House impeachment efforts against President Trump and she serves in a state that is also crucial in the Democratic push for election: Florida.
The Washington Post quoted Val Demings stating: “I grew up the daughter of a maid and a janitor. I grew up poor, black and female in the South, someone who was told a lot of times that I wasn’t the right color or gender. But my mother pushed me and said, ‘No, you can make it. If you work hard and play by the rules, you can be anything you wanna be and do anything you wanna do.”
Tammy Duckworth, is a service woman before senator. She’s a veteran who lost both legs in Iraq, earning a Purple Heart, and is the first woman with a disability to be elected to Congress.
She also made history in 2018 when she became the first senator to give birth in office. She’s advocated for veterans by serving as the assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs in the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.
Duckworth would make history as the first Asian American on a presidential ticket.
Although Kamala Harris ran as Joe Biden’s opponent in the Democratic Primary, Biden speaks highly of the senator.
“Sen. Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely,” Biden said in December shortly after Harris dropped out of the primary. “She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be an attorney general. I mean, she has enormous capability.”
Prior to being elected to Senate, Harris served as California’s first female attorney general, and the district attorney of San Francisco. After ending her campaign for Democratic candidacy, she quickly endorsed Joe Biden in a video statement.
“I have decided that I am, with great enthusiasm, going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States,” Harris said in a video statement. “I believe in Joe. I really believe in him, and I have known him for a long time.”
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Grisham has flown below the radar for quite some time, but she has a long history in politics. Grisham serves as New Mexico’s governor, and is the only Democratic governor that is a person of color.
Her political aspirations run in her family with her uncle, Manuel H Jr. serving as the secretary of the interior in the George H.W. Bush administration, and her grandfather, Eugene Lujan, served as chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court.
If selected, Grisham would be the first Latina on a presidential ticket.
Susan Rice has a previous working relationship with Biden having served as the national security adviser, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Obama administration. She also served as the assistant secretary of state for African affairs for former president Bill Clinton.
Elizabeth Warren, was the first female senator to be elected from Massachusetts. She has publicly endorsed Biden, and served as a Harvard law professor and led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under former president Barack Obama. Warren had been strongly considered as Biden’s running mate prior to the nationwide protests due to the death of George Floyd.
Although Gretchen Whitmer has publically stated she isn’t interested in being Biden ‘s running mate, he’s confirmed that she is on his candidate list. She gained national attention after she publicly criticized president Trump for his coronavirus response. Biden personally endorsed Whitmer for governor in 2018, and she’s accompanied him on stage during the Michigan primary in early 2020. She told MSNBC last month that while she isn’t interested in the vice presidential candidacy, she will assist in vetting his selections.